MLB Rumors

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Masahiro Tanaka says his elbow feels good
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka told the Japan Times that his elbow feels fine as he prepares for spring training, per The Star-Ledger. Tanaka has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament that could eventually require Tommy John surgery.

Tanaka missed more than two months last season due to the injury. After the layoff, he was able to make two starts toward the end of the season and finished 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA.

"So far, so good -- including that [elbow]," Tanaka said.

The Yankees signed Tanaka last offseason to a seven-year, $155 million contract.

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Mariners sign catcher John Baker to minor-league contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Mariners signed catcher John Baker to a minor-league contract Wednesday, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The deal includes an invite to spring training. Baker will be given an opportunity to compete for the backup catching position. In 2014, Baker hit .192 with no home runs and 15 RBI in 182 at-bats.

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Joe Blanton to throw at open workout Feb. 4
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Pitcher Joe Blanton will hold an open workout and throw a bullpen session for interested teams on Feb. 4 in the Nashville area, reports MLBTradeRumors.com. Blanton, 34, made two starts for Oakland's Triple-A team last year. The report said he's healthy and motivated to pitch this season.

In 2013 with the Angels, Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA.

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Indians 3B Giovanny Urshela expected to be ready for spring training
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Indians third base prospect Giovanny Urshela, who sprained a knee ligament in a Venezuelan winter league game in November, should be ready for spring training, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Urshela, 23, is considered the most skilled defensive third baseman in the organization.

He likely will begin the season at Triple-A Columbus, but "could get a look" if Lonnie Chisenhall falters, the paper said.

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Report: Nationals sign pitcher Casey Janssen to one-year contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Nationals agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with pitcher Casey Janssen on Wednesday, sources told FOXSports.com.

The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2016 season and a buyout. In 2014, Janssen made 50 relief appearances and produced a 3.94 ERA.

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Hector Neris considered a 'sleeper' to make Phils' bullpen
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Coming off an outstanding performance in the Dominican Winter League, reliever Hector Neris is a "sleeper candidate" to earn a spot in the Phillies' bullpen, reports Philly.com. Neris, 25, did not give up a run in 18 innings during the league's regular season, then allowed two runs in 8 1/3 postseason innings.

“It will be interesting to see who kind of takes the bull by the horns,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told the website. “We’re going to give some people opportunities to pitch, and typically what happens is the guy that’s performing the best and the guy that’s throwing the most consistently toward the end of spring, those are the guys that will make the club.”

Neris made his major-league debut last August, earning a win with one scoreless inning. That was his only appearance with the Phils.

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Report: Mets not close to trading pitcher Dillon Gee
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

While various clubs have expressed interest in Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, the Mets are not in negotiations to trade him anytime soon, reports MLB.com.

In 2014, Gee went 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA. The Mets are less than a month away from spring training and are also believed to be hesitant to depart with any of their starting pitchers.

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Report: Matt Albers to throw in Houston on Feb. 10
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

Wanting to prove his health, free-agent pitcher Matt Albers will hold a throwing session Feb. 10 in Houston, reports 1500ESPN.

Albers was shut down last season because of shoulder tendinitis after throwing 10 innings for the Astros. All teams were invited to the session.

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Report: Angels talk extension with closer Huston Street
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

The Angels have broached the subject of a contract extension with closer Huston Street and plan to start negotiations during spring training, reports MLB.com. The team exercised its $7 million opion on Street early in the offseason and "would like to lock the 31-year-old right-hander up before he hits free agency next winter," the report said.

Street converted 41 of 44 save opportunities last year, going 2-2 with a 1.37 ERA.

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Marlins announce signing of Ichiro Suzuki
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com

The Marlins announced Tuesday they signed outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract.

The deal was expected to be announced once Suzuki passed his physical. He is expected to be the Marlins fourth outfielder as well as a left-handed bat off the bench.

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